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Historic Building Survey at Morenish Chapel

A survey team from Rubicon Heritage Services recently completed an historic building survey of a fascinating building on the banks of Loch Tay in Scotland. The survey consisted of measured drawings of the external elevations together with rectified photography. 

Surveyor using a reflectorless EDM with PenMap software

Morenish Chapel is a fine example of a memorial chapel with richly symbolic crafted decoration to the interior and highly decorated sarcophagi to the exterior. The building was constructed in the Arts and Crafts Style which was an influential movement which attempted to re-establish the skills of craftmanship and rebelled against industrialisation and mass production in the 19th century (RIBA Architecture).

Rectified photograph of south elevation

The survey was undertaken using a reflectorless EDM supported by PenMap to produce accurate plans and elevations. These were tied into the national grid using a dGPS. A full photographic survey was undertaken of the building which was rectified using the elevations produced by the instrument survey. 

South elevation illustrated by Sara Nylund

Chapels of this type are more commonly found on large estates and in crypts and mausoleums in church graveyards. Morenish chapel was commissioned in 1902 by Aline Elizabeth Todd, wife of Sir Joseph White Todd, Baronet, in memory of her daughter Elvira who died in childbirth. Aline and Joseph are buried in the Sarcophagi located immediately to the east of the chapel. The chapel was constructed near Morenish Lodge, the Highland Residence of the Todd family. While the architect is not known it appears to be similar other buildings attributed to George Penrose Kennedy Young.

The chapel was executed to a high specification for its scale and location, with a wealth of architectural treatment and attention to detail to its interior and exterior. The centre piece of the building was an elaborate stained glass window which dominated the east gable and depicted Elvira and her four children in a central roundel. The window was made in Tiffany Studios in New York. Unfortunately the window was removed in 2015.

A pair of sarcophagi are located immediately east of the chapel. These are bronze with inscriptions and decorative floral reliefs in the Art Nouveau style. The north sarcophagus contains the remains of Aline Elizabeth wife of Sir Joseph White Todd, Baronet. The south sarcophagus commemorates Sir Joseph White Todd, Baronet.